Tricia Wang

Sociologist Tricia Wang researches mobile and internet behavior among China’s migrant population and rates the many internet cafe’s she visits between 1 and 10. Warm hot dogs are a plus, the protein of the internet cafe.

Some fieldnotes on her weblog:

Cafe rating – 8 stars: air-conditioned, requires identification cards and they appear to check them, no mosquitos or flies, keyboard and mouse appear to be clean, available warm food (hot dog in food display, bathroom located on same floor as cafe (2nd floor), cloth on chairs are in place, no nuts or food scattered on ground, the workers seems responsive when customers need help, cubicles in back appear ot be new

keyboards are not stained with dirt though the keyboards are black so it would be hard to see the dirt -but I don’t see food encrusted in between the keys

estimate: total of 100-120 computers, 60 computers are being used with around 40 people playing games and 15 people watching videos and 5 people on websites browsing, 40 females and 20 males, I see 5-6 couples together, there are 2-3 people napping at all times

most customers playing games have a soft-drink or sugar beverage with them, some have lots of wrappers of candies and other snacks spread around their keyboard

within the last hour, two customers (one male & one female) bought 1 hot dog each, the meat is kept warm in a transparent plastic food display with a light, you can see the oil on the hot dog bubbling up, 1RMB each, customers went back to their computer and began playing their game, the female was playing a dancing/clothing game of some sort, male playing first person CS-like game..

More at her weblog.

Tricia Wang is a speaker at the China Speakers Bureau. Do you need her at your meeting or conference? Do get in touch.

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